I said over the summer that I would be thrilled to see the Carolina Hurricanes still playing games that mattered in March. Those games are not scheduled yet, but with the Canes still in the hunt as of January 16 and playing well right now, it is at least a possibility.
I wrote a post about a week ago that declared the stretch of games up until January 22 as critical to the 2015-16 season. You can find that HERE. So far so good. The Canes are chugging through the stretch of 10 games straight with travel before each. The couple home games are onesies.
Up to the all-star break (3 home games / 2 road games / 1 back-to-back set)
With the end in sight and the Canes still collecting points on a regular basis, the all-star break is within reach. The key right now is to stay focused, avoid a skid and continue to collect points up until the all-star break that is only 5 games away. It starts with a key game against Pittsburgh on Sunday and includes tough match ups against the Rangers and Blackhawks.
February (8 home games / 5 road games / 3 back-to-back sets)
After a haphazard January schedule, February sets up pretty well for the Canes to earn the chance to play games that matter in March. The team starts with 3 road games starting in Western Canada and concluding in Montreal. After the road trip coming out of the all-star break, the Hurricanes play 8 out of 10 games at home for the rest of February. That is the stretch of games that represent the Canes best opportunity to go on a run.
March (5 home / 9 road / 1 back-to-back set)
March is the reverse of February. The Canes play 7 of the first 8 on the road before a more even split in the second half of the month. One nice thing about the month is that it mostly features a nice run of games with 1-2 off days between games and only 1 back-to-back set.
April (2 home / 2 road / 0 back-to-back sets)
The Canes finish with Columbus at home followed by Boston on the road followed by Montreal in the home finale and then Florida in the season finale.
Here is hoping that we get games that matter in March at least and even better April.